For 22-year-old Jordan Pilarski, his future changed by simply logging onto Facebook.
The pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Amelia Island received a message from a casting producer from the Food Network’s “Spring Baking Championship” saying he’d be perfect for the television show.
“I didn’t think it was real, but I went with it because I had always wanted to be on the show,” Pilarski said. “After a few phone calls and Skype interviews, I was on my way to film.”
Pilarski joined eight other bakers to compete for the championship title and $50,000.
“Being on the show was surreal,” he said. “I was excited to show the world what I could do.”
And that is exactly what Pilarski did.
On the finale, which aired April 9, Pilarski was named the “Spring Baking Champion.”
“I thought about my family and the opportunities I wouldn’t have had without their support,” he said of his reaction to the win. “I put everything I had into every dessert I made and it all paid off.”
In seven hourlong episodes, bakers competed in two rounds of themed challenges celebrating spring, which included everything from Easter to the Kentucky Derby.
The show was hosted by former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer, and the bakers’ creations were judged by Chef Duff Goldman, model Lorraine Pascale and Nancy Fuller, owner of Ginsberg’s Foods.
Pilarski said his favorite challenge was when the bakers had to deconstruct an old dessert and make it modern for a Mother’s Day celebration.